Tabula Rasa

Chapter 11

Tabula Rasa

Chapter Eleven

As they finally finished going over what Goodin and Scott had gathered on Jacqueline's murder so far and then compared the case to Ryan's murder, Wes and Travis looked at each other and began to spit out theories, hoping that something would give them a lead or at least a start on where to go next.

"It's clear that both murders were committed by the same person, as both Ryan's and Jacqueline's deaths were identical," Wes said. "But even though she was stabbed fewer times than Ryan, her murder was sloppier."

"Yeah, I see what you mean," Travis agreed. "It looks like the killer took the time to make the kill and then clean up any kind of evidence left behind that may lead us back to them when he or she killed Ryan. However, when they killed Jacqueline, they became sloppy and left the bloody knife on the ground beside her body, as well as their shoe imprints in her blood."

Wes quickly replied, "What if our killer knew that he or she had plenty of time to kill Ryan and thought they did with Jacqueline too, but then someone or something interrupted them, making it so that the killer had to run, leaving everything behind. It's possible we may have a witness to Jacqueline's murder, but why wouldn't they come forward?"

Travis shrugged his shoulders and answered, "I don't know. According to Brady's notes, Jacqueline's body was found by her sister, who came over to Jacqueline's apartment early yesterday morning to drag her out for a jog. Apparently, Jacqueline has been feeling depressed lately. I think we really need to go to the nightclub. I'm telling you, this place and the people that go there may be crazy and freaky, but the women must be fine!"

"I agree, but it's too early to go now," Wes responded nonchalantly as Travis noticed he was staring off again at nothing in particular.

"No jab, no witty remark about what I just said?" Travis asked in surprise. "That's not like you. You always have something to say about how rude or degrading that kind of remark is."

Wes suddenly turned back to his partner and replied, "I'm going to go grab a sandwich from the café across the street. It's a little early, but since we have nothing really to do besides speculate, I figured we could do both. Did you want something?"

Travis had become concerned at Wes' strange attitude as he answered, "What? No… no thank you. Since when do you offer to buy me lunch?"

"I figured it would nice for a change," Wes responded softly, then turned and walked away.

"I really hate that this case fell to us," Travis said out loud to himself, not noticing that Mike had just then walked over from behind him.

Sutton was eating what looked to Travis like a breakfast burrito as the man replied, "I know that you do and believe me, if I had known that what happened yesterday was going to happen, I would have assigned this case to Kate and Amy instead. Where's Wes going?"

Travis looked up at their boss and answered, "Wes is not acting right, Cap. I mean, he's being… nice. He hasn't said one sarcastic remark to me ever since he apologized to me last night, except for that little jab about wanting to kill Brady, but that wasn't aimed at me. It was nothing. Oh, and just now, he offered to buy me lunch. He never offers to pay for lunch, even though he's the one with all the money. Dr. Ryan may have gotten him back to work, but I'm telling you, he is far from being all right."

"He will be all right," Captain Sutton responded. "You just need to give him time. Help him to get his head straight again so that the two of you can solve this case because if you don't, Wes will never be the same again, as this will haunt him for the rest of his life. Do you know what John Locke said once, Travis?"

"Who is John Locke?" Travis asked.

Amy walked by and without stopping quickly replied, "John Locke is a famous philosopher, with a few ideas similar to Plato and Aristotle. It's no wonder you don't know him."

Travis mimicked her just like a child would until Mike sat down in Wes' chair and answered, "Tabula Rasa; it means blank slate or white paper that is void of any character and without ideas. John Locke said that a mind is like a blank slate, until our experiences fill it, driving us to make the choices we make. Wes' mind was a blank slate back when he was a lawyer, until he had the tragic experience of an innocent man committing suicide. This experience changed him and helped him to realize that he wasn't doing what was right for himself. It's why he is now a detective. Eventually, he came around."

"But Cap, at least then Wes had an answer for the slump he fell into," Travis responded. "What if he can't figure this case out? You said it yourself, he'll be lost."

"Yes, but this time, he has you to help him figure it all out," Mike replied as he stood up and began to walk back toward his office. "Now, I suggest you do just that and for starters, you can go after your partner and accept lunch from him, before he becomes his old self and never offers it to you again."

Travis smiled as he walked away and then stood and ran out of the office to go and find Wes, hoping to catch him before he made it back. As he waited for the elevator to stop down in the lobby, Travis thought about what their captain had said. He understood most of it, but he was never a fan of philosophy and had a tendency to fall asleep in class when he was forced to take it in college.

By the time he finally made it out of the building, Travis walked down the street a little ways and noticed his partner as he walked out of the café with a bag and two cups of coffee in his hands. Travis stood back and waited for him as he began to cross the street, but as soon as he stepped out, a car suddenly sped up, aiming directly for Wes.

Travis shouted out his name as Wes had seen the car coming as well and tried to dodge out of the way in time, but unfortunately, his effort wasn't enough as the corner of the car managed to clip Wes' legs, causing him to crash up onto the roof of the car, smash into the windshield, and then finally fall forward, as he landed hard on the ground unconscious. Travis ran over to stand in front of his partner as he fired several rounds from his gun toward the driver of the car, who only just kept on going, eventually turning a corner and then disappeared.

Travis set his gun down on the ground beside him as he knelt over Wes and quickly called for an ambulance. Then, when he finished, he scanned his eyes over his partner's body looking for his injuries. He couldn't tell right then how bad Wes' condition was, but the only wound he could see was the large gash on the side of his head from the impact it made against whatever had caused the damage. Unfortunately, Travis couldn't see who was driving the car as he was more focused on his partner, but he knew that whoever it was had sped up deliberately, gunning to kill Wes.

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